My proudest accomplishment has been learning to program independent from school. In high school, I wasn’t the best student and was constantly discouraged from pursuing work in STEM fields because of my sub-par grades in math. It began with a failing math grade I first received in sophomore year, but my confidence in my learning ability at that time was never able to make a full recovery. Me learning programming was in response to a particular classmate who said I wouldn’t be able to pursue the career because of my non-technical background. It was a response to the frustration I had at not being able to find a suitable learning environment in school. It was my way of showing myself that I could learn without school as a crutch and take my education into my own hands. I picked up ‘C for Dummies’ shortly after and everyday like clockwork, I would read a chapter from the book. This would also lead to me watching videos of Harvard’s CS50 course, along with my progression into elementary data structures by means of the follow-up book I acquired, ‘C All in One Desk Reference for Dummies’. It was a time where I was able to focus all my attention to achieve something previously thought impossible, in order to fight back against those who doubted me. It is my proudest accomplishment because it ended up becoming so much more than a statement. Learning how to program also brought the realization that nothing should ever be able to impede my learning, and that I do not need to rely on school to take my education into my own hands.